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The Society's 150th Anniversary Margaret River Red 2017

4.000000000 star rating 5 Reviews
Following a run of small vintages, we were delighted when 2017 offered us the opportunity to work with Cullen on this extra special wine for our Anniversary range. From such a good vintage, this is a classic Margaret River blend of cabernet and merlot aged in small oak casks. It has now had a number of years in bottle maturing in our own cellars, so it is in its prime to approach now or for many years to come. Decant before serving. For more on the story of this wine, please scroll down.
Price: £29.00 Bottle
Price: £174.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: AU20341

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Light to medium-bodied
  • Cabernet Merlot
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2032
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Screwcap
  • Organic

More on the wine

Margaret River boasts an ideal climate for making silky and luxurious cabernet sauvignon, but seldom is it available with enough bottle age to demonstrate the its potential for cellaring. Coming from Cullen, one of the very first names of Margaret River wine, good yields meant that this blend of 80% cabernet and 20% merlot was put together especially for our celebration by Vanya Cullen from her biodynamically farmed vineyards, some of the oldest in the famous Margaret River region of Western Australia. Aged in small oak casks and now in bottle for seven years so that it is perfect to drink now.

Western Australia

The isolated state of Western Australia is known for its spectacular scenery, golden-sand beaches and giant Karri tree forests. A relatively cool (in Australian terms) Mediterranean climate of warm, breezy summer days and cool nights dominates the wine-producing areas. The resulting wines tend to combine fruit ripeness with freshness – an unusual combination in Australia – which makes the wines particularly appealing.

The Margaret River area was the first to suggest Western Australia’s potential for making premium wines. Elegant, ageworthy cabernet sauvignon originally put the spotlight on Margaret River and is still its trump card. Chardonnay shines here, too, as do the vibrantly fruity, zesty semillon/sauvignon blanc blends.

Further south and west you find the Great Southern sub-region, 400 kilometres from Perth. The vineyards of the Great Southern region provide 37% of all the grapes produced in Western Australia. The five sub-regions – Albany, Denmark, Frankland River,...
The isolated state of Western Australia is known for its spectacular scenery, golden-sand beaches and giant Karri tree forests. A relatively cool (in Australian terms) Mediterranean climate of warm, breezy summer days and cool nights dominates the wine-producing areas. The resulting wines tend to combine fruit ripeness with freshness – an unusual combination in Australia – which makes the wines particularly appealing.

The Margaret River area was the first to suggest Western Australia’s potential for making premium wines. Elegant, ageworthy cabernet sauvignon originally put the spotlight on Margaret River and is still its trump card. Chardonnay shines here, too, as do the vibrantly fruity, zesty semillon/sauvignon blanc blends.

Further south and west you find the Great Southern sub-region, 400 kilometres from Perth. The vineyards of the Great Southern region provide 37% of all the grapes produced in Western Australia. The five sub-regions – Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and the Porongorups – all have vastly different climatic conditions, but generally Great Southern is the coolest of all of Western Australia. The long growing season, relatively low rainfall, poor soils and low yields result in high-quality wines with excellent fruit intensity. The best wines of the region are riesling (dry, almost austere, with superb definition and purity) and shiraz, though sauvignon blanc is now attracting attention too.

Further north, and closer to Perth, the Swan Valley was the first area of Western Australia to be commercially planted and despite some fierce summer temperatures can make crisp, fresh whites and full-bodied reds.
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Cullen Winery

Cullen is one of the original pioneers of Western Australia’s top wine region, Margaret River and the name is synonymous with small-winery excellence. In the 1960s Kevin and Diana Cullen, owners of a sheep and cattle farm at Willyabrup, planted a trial acre of vines here on the advice of scientists, whose studies indicated that Margaret River had some very special qualities for grape-growing. The encouraging results of the trial led to the planting of a further 18 acres in 1971, making the Cullen vineyards some of the oldest in the region. First to be planted were cabernet sauvignon and riesling, followed by sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, semillon, merlot, pinot noir and cabernet franc. While Kevin Cullen supervised the vineyard activities, Diana Cullen became one of Australia’s first female winemakers and was in sole charge until 1986, when she was joined by her daughter Vanya.

Cullen has since evolved into a top-quality estate, specialising in premium wines from single vineyard sites, where yields are kept extremely low. Today, Vanya Cullen is firmly in charge and has established the estate in the top tier of the Australian fine wine scene. In 2000, Vanya became the first woman to receive the accolade of Australian Winemaker of The Year and is admired by her peers for her remarkable tasting abilities. Under Vanya’s guidance, there have been significant developments and improvements in the vineyard, where a rigorously sustainable approach is now followed. Biodynamic...
Cullen is one of the original pioneers of Western Australia’s top wine region, Margaret River and the name is synonymous with small-winery excellence. In the 1960s Kevin and Diana Cullen, owners of a sheep and cattle farm at Willyabrup, planted a trial acre of vines here on the advice of scientists, whose studies indicated that Margaret River had some very special qualities for grape-growing. The encouraging results of the trial led to the planting of a further 18 acres in 1971, making the Cullen vineyards some of the oldest in the region. First to be planted were cabernet sauvignon and riesling, followed by sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, semillon, merlot, pinot noir and cabernet franc. While Kevin Cullen supervised the vineyard activities, Diana Cullen became one of Australia’s first female winemakers and was in sole charge until 1986, when she was joined by her daughter Vanya.

Cullen has since evolved into a top-quality estate, specialising in premium wines from single vineyard sites, where yields are kept extremely low. Today, Vanya Cullen is firmly in charge and has established the estate in the top tier of the Australian fine wine scene. In 2000, Vanya became the first woman to receive the accolade of Australian Winemaker of The Year and is admired by her peers for her remarkable tasting abilities. Under Vanya’s guidance, there have been significant developments and improvements in the vineyard, where a rigorously sustainable approach is now followed. Biodynamic practices have also been introduced and Cullen was the first vineyard and winery in Australia to be certified as carbon neutral.

In 2005, Vanya Cullen’s top wine and arguably Margaret River’s ‘first growth’, Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot was elevated to the ‘exceptional’ category in the prestigious Langton’s classification of Australian wines, making it one of the most highly sought after and prized Australian wines on the market. The Cullen wine style, in essence, is one of refinement, elegance and ageworthiness. The Society has a strong relationship with Cullen, and has sourced Exhibition-label wine from this estate.
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JancisRobinson.com

Glorious nose with such purity. This has Cullen handwriting all over it. Perhaps just a little more obvious oak than I recall in similar wines from Cullen. Intense black fruits on the nose, so light,...
Glorious nose with such purity. This has Cullen handwriting all over it. Perhaps just a little more obvious oak than I recall in similar wines from Cullen. Intense black fruits on the nose, so light, elegant and refined on the palate. Perfect maturity and so rewarding that it’s ‘only’ 12.5%.
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Andy Howard MW

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